The Truth and Nonsense of the N+1 Principle of Bicycles


I saw this it made me laugh ….Can you have too many bikes ?
Yes …..but only if you find you are not using them very often… a bikes purpose is to be used isn’t it …are do we collect them as works of aesthetics we just want because they are beautiful as well?
See the attached blog on “N+1 rule of bike acquisition ….”
Me? I’m just jealous of the authors noted collection of bikes …and the fact that he keeps them in the dining room…..LoL.

Originally posted on chasing mailboxes :

If you’ve been around bikes long enough, you’re likely familiar with the “n+1″ principle. Velominati describes it as follows:

The correct number of bikes to own is n+1.

While the minimum number of bikes one should own is three, the correct number is n+1, where n is the number of bikes currently owned. This equation may also be re-written as s-1, where s is the number of bikes owned that would result in separation from your partner.

I became quite caught up in the n + 1 principle in my early days as a bike enthusiast, although I did not know it had a name. My stable quickly grew from one Fuji road bike to a road bike + fixed gear + light touring bike + a commuter/touring bike + folding bike + single speed folding bike + you get the idea.

As cycling became one of my central activities, bicycles…

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Froome getting back on form earlier than expected


I saw Froomeys fantastic acceleration up the hill ….and knew he was chasing Contadors 27 seconds. I was bouncing up and down on my seat in time to his cadence all the way up to the finish line – getting so tense, waiting for Contador to re-ignite his afterburners. Despite Contador giving chase, Froomey managed to get over the line 1 second ahead of Contador and I cheered so loud you could hear it way down the street. Way to go Va Va Froome !!!

Originally posted on Kite*Surf*Bike*Rambling:

From the great

Feb 21, 2015 – Chris Froome produced a stunning breakaway up a steep summit finish on the 199.8km fourth stage of the Ruta del Sol to take a two-second lead over Alberto Contador into Sunday’s final stage.

Contador had held a 27-second lead over the 2013 Tour de France winner after winning their first battle of the season on a mountain finish in Friday’s third stage. However, Froome had his revenge on the gruelling 4.4km climb to the finish line at Alto de las Allanadas to take the stage in 5hr 08min 54sec and grab the narrowest of advantages over his Spanish rival.

Contador was second with Froome’s Sky teammate Mikel Nieve back in third. Froome is now firm favourite to claim the overall win as the final 169.8km stage from Montilla to Alhaurin de la Torre is likely to be decided among the sprinters.

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Dear City of Edinburgh Council, As a user of the City of Edinburgh road systems, as a pedestrian, as someone who rides a bike and as someone who regularly drives within the city limits,  I am impressed with the CECs stated intent to increase the the amount of trips made by bike to 10% of all trips by 2020. It is a shame then that experimental traffic orders ETRO/14/38B and/or ETRO/14/38A are being proposed which aim to reduce and phase out the use of bus and cycle lanes in some areas of the the city, with 22kms of busy roads being affected.

I am deeply UNIMPRESSED with this.

Dear Reader

Did you know about these plans? No – I didn’t think so.

Please check out Spokes informative and excellent  pages on the following weblinks:-
If you agree that these orders should be objected to – (and I trust that you do), then please email before 18th February 2015
and confirm in writing that you are formally objecting to ETRO/14/38B and/or ETRO/14/38A
– I attach my own objection below as an example.  Please make sure you include your name and address in your email.

” I write to record my formal objection to the experimental proposals put forward in ETRO/14/38B and/or ETRO/14/38A, and to request that these experiments in peoples road safety are abandoned before it is too late.
I am gravely concerned about these proposals for a number of reasons, political, practical and subjective which I am outlining in brief, as follows:-
1. A total of 22km of all-day bus lanes will be affected – and it appears that little or no thought has been given to the impact on pedestrians and cyclists. Bus lanes are not just bus lanes – they are bus and cycle lanes and form an important buffer between heavy vehicular traffic (such as lorries) and pedestrians. 2. It is contrary to CEC’s own policies. The Council is succeeding in the excellent policies of its Local Transport Strategy [LTS] – to increase walking, cycling and public transport use, whilst reducing car use.  In the current LTS, Policy PubTrans1 says the Council wishes to give buses priority over other motorised traffic.  Policy PubTrans7 says the Council will where possible enhance the bus lane network. Now they are proposing something that is contrary to their own policies and putting the hard-won Edinburgh bus/cycle lanes at risk. This proposal will reduce CEC’s ability to move towards a publicly proclaimed target of 10% of all trips by bike by 2020. 3.This will greatly increase the chances of an accident and actual bodily harm to people using bikes and to pedestrians near the kerb. 

3A Impact on people using bikes. The CEC’s own LTS begins its Cycling section [9.2] by saying, “The attractiveness of cycling is dependent on the degree to which the road network is dominated by moving or parked motor vehicles.” Until we have segregated cycle facilities on arterial roads, bus lanes provide a wide area of roadspace in which this “domination by moving or parked vehicles” is significantly reduced.  Off-peak lanes are really important when using a bike for shoppingschool travel, and a multitude of other offpeak journey types. Many of these trips are by the less confident cyclist, who is understandably deterred by the constant presence of cars and lorries but can just about cope with the occasional well-trained Lothian Buses driver. A council with a target of 10% of all trips by bike in 2020 (not just commuting trips) should not be removing this facility – or, at least, not until segregated cycling provision is mad.The Council also proposes to allow motorcycles in bus lanes (at all times). This is likely to reduce the attractiveness of bus lanes for cycling, thus cutting use, contrary to the council’s own policies and targets.

3B Impact on pedestrians – particularly children. The CEC’s own LTS begins its walking section with policy Walk1, “The Council will seek opportunities to improve pedestrian facilities…”The downgrade of bus lanes does not appear to directly downgrade pedestrian facilities, yet that is exactly what this proposal will do for 22 kilometres of footway along Edinburgh arterial roads.  Instead of being separated from the footway by the bus lane, lorries and cars will be right next to it throughout the off-peak day and all day Saturday.  This means increased pollution, noise, splashing, scariness and, on occasions, danger. Finally, the council’s plan to abolish off-peak bus lanes will particularly hit school children walking home as well as families out walking to the shops or the park on Saturdays.

4. It increases pollution risk  – Edinburgh City Council faces increasing problems over toxic traffic pollution, with several roads now exceeding EU safe limits and estimates by Health Protection Scotland of 200 premature deaths a year as a resultToxic pollution (like noise pollution) declines rapidly with distance, so bus lanes are likely to reduce the pollutants breathed in by walkers and, to a lesser extent, cyclists using the bus lanes. Allowing lorries and cars into bus lanes just when children are most likely to be using the footway is a very retrograde decision.

5. Lastly, but importantly, The Council is implementing these proposals without prior public consultation.  Of course, people can object to the Traffic Regulation Orders but few people actually know about them.  In contrast, the Council did consult in advance in affected parts of the city over the 20mph plans, Leith Walk plans, the Quality Bike Corridor, the City Centre, School Streets, and so on. There appears to be an attempt to slip this set of ETRO’s in under the radar. The public should be properly informed and a proper consultation put in place before orders of this nature should be made.
As someone who has children, is a resident, a citizen, a regular pedestrian, bike user and a regular car driver in the city of Edinburgh I consider these steps to be retrograde and dangerous experiments which will result in our road systems becoming more  dangerous as a result. Please therefore formally record my objection to ETRO/14/38B and/or ETRO/14/38A, and give due consideration to cancelling them before it is too late.”
Thank you all

City of Edinburgh Council experimenting with road user safety and seeking to phase out bus and cycle lane use on the fly

Date with the foam roller


I haven’t blogged in bit and this blog caught my eye, as it is quite topical to me .

In my advanced age in life, I’ve noticed these twinges and tightening up of back and hips of late and have started going along to an Ostepath for stretching exercises etc .

She recommends yoga, pilates and the use of foam rollers to help unkink, loosen and stretch the muscles that are getting tightened up ….

So this video is a good find and my thanks go to Tempocyclist for posting about it ……

Originally posted on Tempo Cyclist:

Following a training block of mostly intense turbo sessions, my legs are feeling the build-up of fatigue. They’re especially tight and “achy” this week. Something I tend to neglect is a routine of stretching and foam rolling. Unfortunately I don’t have the budget for my own personal in-house sports masseuse so the next best thing is using a foam roller. This video from Garmin-Sharp outlines a good routine for cyclists:

If you’ve never used a foam roller before it can be a painful experience, but it’s a good type of pain! Or maybe that’s just me? Regular foam rolling is great for loosening stiff muscles and massaging away any knots or tight spots. Make it part of your regular routine and reap the benefits (I should really follow my own advice).

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Can we please forget about Lance now – and deny him the oxygen of world media exposure? Yes – Armstong still haunts professional cycling – because he craves attention. Please, please, can we ignore him now…..? No we can’t apparently – because he keeps bloody well popping up in the news every now and then whether we like it or not …..either as part of concentrated means of getting his message across…. BBC interview for example …. Screen Shot 2015-02-12 at 09.37.58   or because he keeps making statements to the public…. Screen Shot 2015-02-12 at 09.40.04   or simply because he’s been caught lying again … Screen Shot 2015-02-12 at 09.49.52 It seems like our friendly cycling hero / bully isn’t learning from the previous edicts and sentences passed down to him… he. SO could the media please do us all a favour ? Take note – We don’t want to hear anything more from this man RANT over….. Now lets get on with our lives and NEVER talk about him again ….ok? Sigh…..

Originally posted on Stokoe's Blog:

Stokoe’s Blog brings the curtain down on the debacle that was Lance Armstrong.

It was an era that cycling will want to forget and move on from. Introducing part four:

Is Armstrong the ghost that still haunts cycling?

We have seen what Armstrong has put the world of cycling through, it has been a tough couple of years, and it might just be that the hardest months are yet to come.

Should Armstrong get his titles reinstated?

“It’s not for me to say. If I’m not the winner… I think there has to be a winner. I’m just saying that as a fan”

I get it, winning is everything in sport, why else would sport stars put their body through the pain.

But there is winning and then winning illegally, and that is exactly what Armstrong did hence the reason why his Tour titles have been taken away, he does…

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Lance Armstrong Special – Part Four

Its that time of year again – Pedal On Parliament 2015

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Where  – Meet at The Meadows in Edinburgh, 11.30am 25th April – SAVE THE DATE

Why – To cycle to the top of the High Street and then down as a mass rally to the Scottish Parliament building at Holyrood.

The Pedal On Parliament Website  expresses the reason for this very well –

“Cycling should be the obvious solution for many of Scotland’s ills – as we have long said in our manifestoReport after report after report has shown that cycling improves people’s health, cuts congestion, reduces pollution, boosts the economy, and generally provides returns on investment unparalleled by any other form of transport. But these benefits won’t come about just through a bit of training and encouragement. All the research shows that most people won’t cycle unless they have the conditions to do it in that are safe and, just as importantly, in which they feel safe – especially if they have a family. That takes real and sustained investment. It can be done – but it takes political will. So far Scotland’s politicians have done the bare minimum to invest in cycling. We need you to come out and tell your elected representatives that’s not good enough. Together, let’s ask them to see sense and make Scotland a cycle friendly country.”

What is needed  –

  1. Proper funding for cycling.
  2. Design cycling into Scotland’s roads.
  3. Slower speeds where people live, work and play
  4. Integrate cycling into local transport strategies
  5. Improved road traffic law and enforcement
  6. Reduce the risk of HGVs to cyclists and pedestrians
  7. A strategic and joined-up programme of road user training
  8. Improved statistics supporting decision-making and policy

Download the manifesto from the link above and add your voice on the day. Please write to your MP’s – especially as the elections loom closer – Now is the time to make your voice heard and  ask for critical investment in an appropriate all transport infrastructure.

C’mon down!!

Cycling – the gift that keeps on giving ….and my startup list for 2015

The gift of cycling….

I cycled from an early age – but the earliest bike I can remember having was an old Pathfinder- my childhood memory remembers a Metallic purple finish with a slight sparkle in the paint and an orange bar motif on the top tube ….I thought it was a Halfords bike but could be wrong , may be a Raleigh? Online checks have proved rubbish – as I have not found any record similar to it after some cursory searching. It would have been around the late  70’s  – 1978, 79, and I will obviously need to do some further research.

Whatever it was, I loved that bike – I really, really did. Not so much because I loved “cycling” as such, it was just because it was an easy means of transport, which granted me the ability to go mucking about with my friends and have my first real taste of independence, striking out on my own to “go explore” – I loved just cycling around (very often on my own) to see what I could see. Getting to places that I couldn’t go with Mum and Dad in the car, mainly because they had better things to do than “follow that trail to the farm on the hill” or “check out the spooky castle next to the old railway line” etc etc . I actually travelled quite far afield, but didn’t tell my mum, in case she worried.

The Chopper - a bike from the 70's - none other like it....

The Chopper – a bike from the 70’s – none other like it….

A scavenged bike…

Next thing that strikes me in my cycling memory was coming across an old racer frame in someones back yard and enquiring if I could have it.  At the age of around 15, I was sanding down the frame (roughly) by hand, and spray painting it (and a good portion of the pavement beneath it) a solid matt  black ( the “Stealth” look ).  I re-cabled it, chained it and etc. and got some chrome rimmed wheels from another pal.  Presto! – My black beauty was born.  I pottered about on that bike for years and years and years ….I remember my brother getting a peugot race bike (brand new and shiny it was) and thinking how cool it looked, but still loved my bike because it was mine – I had made it, crafted it, new every nut and bolt. It wasn’t perfect, it was basic, but it was mine.

I never got into cycle racing, I never followed the sport (wish I had…. I think I could have made a good wee racer boy when I was slim and young.) I never really thought of cycling as anything other than a great way to go explore and to get around…..

Go Explore....

Go Explore….

To infinity…and beyond!!

30+ years on and I still do. OK… I admit I got distracted from cycling by growing up a bit, going to university, getting a degree, becoming an architect, falling for a lovely girl , (who I’m proud to call my wife), starting a family, working hard, travelling the length and breadth of the country,moving house several times, bringing up kids, working hard, becoming an associate director, working hard. Di I mention working hard?

My eureka moment came about 7 years ago, when I realised I was working my balls off, wasn’t enjoying my work anymore, was missing my wife and kids growing up and just generally having a shit time. This  wasn’t directly cycling related, it was just how life was. Was it a mid life crisis? No – not really. More of a sense of a creeping realisation that my life work balance was immensely skewed.

I quit my job, stepped back, got another job elsewhere and focused more on home life. The life balance needed to be redressed. During this process, however, the opportunity came up to join a corporate charity event cycling from Coast to Coast along the C2C cycle route – I didn’t even have a bike at the point but I signed up, as I realised that cycling had been so embedded in my life as a kid and as a teenager, so taken for granted even, that I really longed for that same sense of setting out on  an adventure on my bike, just because I could. That sense of lets roll and go see what the day brings ….you really can’t beat it you know. You really can’t.

7 years on and I’m still mucking about WITH the bikes almost as much as I am mucking about ON the bikes that I now have. To get on the C2C event I went out and bought myself a relatively cheap but new hybrid bike – a Ridgeback Velocity. You would not believe how excited I felt bringing it back home – I really was the hyper excited kid who just couldn’t get the wrappings off the christmas pressies quickly enough – though I stoically tried not to show it.

My Ridgeback Velocity ...I still have it

My Ridgeback Velocity …I still have it

The C2C challenge involved climbing steep hills in the lake district…I wasn’t really fit for it, had too much body mass from years of working without looking after myself and I was therefore dead slow and often at the back of the cycling group. Crucially however, I loved it. I loved being back on the bike. I loved watching, smelling and feeling the scenery going past. I loved the sense of achievement of cresting the hill that had seemed so daunting earlier when viewed from below down in the valley. I loved the sense of stoicism that when the weather was poor, you buttoned up a bit more, put a cap on under your cycling helmet and hunkered down a bit more against the wind. I proved too myself over and over that I could do much more than I ever initially  thought Icould….. I travelled from one side of the Uk to the other in 3 days and – loved – every – minute – of – it……

Cycling on the continent

The next challenge  a year later was an open road trip from London to Amsterdam in 3 days – 2 days were over 120 miles in a day. My response was characteristic – buy a second hand road bike and rebuild it with some new, some borrowed and some other used parts. An original 1969 Claud Butler 531 reynold steel frame Sports Coureur touring bike in a pleasing aquamarine colour…. I’m very pleased to say that it got me from London to Amsterdam in one piece …and didn’t come apart from the bone shaking cobble and setts in the roads in Belgium. Again, I loved it. Loved going places, loved the beautifully smooth continental roads, loved the cycle centric Amsterdam (I’d move there in a heartbeat), loved the continental acceptance of cyclist on the roads with people waving as I went past. You can see my Claud Butler revamp in


Fast forward more time, and I’m now an avid cyclist, and a proud MAMIL. Yes I do the lycra thing and frankly I don’t care if you find it unfashionable – the technical advances in material technology is just so much more comfortable when your doing long distances or are putting in a lot of effort on the bike. I now have multiple bikes (much to my wives curiosity, amazement and sometimes disdain – she can’t understand why one isn’t enough). I am insured, and an accredited assistant cycle leader for British Cycling. I have gone through levels 1 and 2 Bikability teaching training to help train others and have led out others on Sky rides in my area. I have recently joined up with an online cycling group called the Lothian Cyclists  (, who are a great bunch of people from all walks of life, who just enjoy getting out on their bikes…same as me.

Lothian Cyclist Webpage

I admit that I’m now obsessing slightly about challenging hill climbs to go do or cycling holidays abroad that involve cycling

You can learn a bit more about these exploits here….

and here

So why am I telling you all of this I hear you ask?

Well simply put, I never thought that I’d be looking back and seeing such a progression into cycling. I never thought that I’d end up dong any of these things…..but I can tell you that I love it.

At this time of year, I have got into the habit of summarising what I  have planned for the year, as I have got myself booked up for various sportives and etc and I have now completed my list for 2015, with the exception of a bit of a gap  in Feb / March and  July.

SO here goes……


2015 checklist

January – Revolution track cycling  – Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, Glasgow 31st January.
Looking forward to seeing the greats perform….
April  – Crow Road and Tak Me Doon – April 12th

The Crow Road

April  – Bupa Great Edinburgh Run – April 19th

BUPA Great Edinburgh Run

May – Caledonia Etape May 9th to 11th
June – Bethany Sportive 6th June

Bethany Edinburgh Sportive

July – Trossach Ton 21st June
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August – Tour O the Borders 9th August
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August  – Bealach Na’ Ba 20th -22nd August

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I’ll post up more details about these lovely things later……